September 18: Online payment gateways are planning to provide interest on customers’ mobile wallet after Nepal Rastra Bank gave them the permission to do so.
The Payment and Settlement Regulations 2077 issued three months ago has a provision that allows the organizations willing to provide interest to their customers to do so by seeking permission from the central bank.
Mobile wallets aren’t generally used for the purpose of keeping deposits. The Payment System Department of the central bank informed that all of the payment service providers have shown their curiosity about the new provision.
However, IME Pay has been providing interest to its customers that have the minimum balance in their accounts prior to the issuance of this regulation.
IME Pay had obtained permission for the operation of its business from the central bank three years ago under the name ‘IME Digital Solution Limited’. It had submitted an application to provide interest to its customers on the minimum balance in their wallet a year later.
Sudeep Sigdel, the compliance manager of IME Pay, said that after receiving the permission from the central bank and making the necessary technical arrangements, this facility is being provided to their customers since the last six months.
According to him, the interest rate on the minimum balance (Rs 1000) in the super-wallet was determined as the same rate provided in the general savings account of Global IME Bank. “In coordination with the bank, the interest will be provided on a quarterly basis to the customers. We have been providing interest from the beginning of the lockdown (March). This has been very profitable for our customers,” he told New Business Age.
He claims that this facility has encouraged the customers. According to him, IME Pay has a total of one million customers.
Other online payment providers are also planning to implement this system after IME Pay. E-sewa has already started its internal work for it. Roshan Lamichhane, the CEO of E-sewa said that they will apply for the permission from the central bank only after completing internal preparation.
“Since the money in the wallet and the responsibility of the interest will be given to a bank, there are still some discussions to be done. It is necessary to reach to an agreement with Nabil Bank, which is the bank that we are coordinating with,” he said.
The maximum limit of money transfer and payment will be Rs 25,000 per transaction, Rs 100,000 per day and Rs 500,000 per month through an agent/ sub-agent to the wallet, bank account to the wallet, the wallet to another bank account or one wallet to another wallet.
There is no limit for transferring money from the wallet to the wallet carrier’s bank account.
There are 14 payment service providers in operation till now. They are Phone Pay, Cellcom, CG Pay, Sparrow Pay (Khalti), Pay Nep, Q Pay, Nepal Paytime, Smart Card Nepal, Mohar Digital, Prabhu Technologies, E-Net Payment, Focusone Payment Solution Pvt. Ltd. And Kurakani Pvt. Ltd.
Four more such companies are in the process of coming into operation. The central bank has already given the Letter of Intent to Nepal Digital Payment Company, Buddha Light International Pvt. Ltd., ICash Pvt. Ltd. And Chhito Paisa Pvt. Ltd. for conducting electronic transactions.
There will now be 18 payment service providers in the market soon.